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Drakeford calls for more devolution of powers over the railways in Wales

MARK DRAKEFORD used First Ministers Questions today to call for more devolution of powers over the railways in Wales and to take them all into public ownership.

Plaid Cymu deputy leader Sian Gwenllian asked the First Minister to make the case for the devolution of rail infrastructure to the Senedd as the services across north Wales were failing.

The Welsh Labour leader said: “Many of the mainline services across north Wales are a UK government responsibility, and they are delivered by Avanti West Coast.

“I do agree that we need the full powers over railways, as well as the investment to go along with those powers.

“If we had full powers, then we could do a more comprehensive job of work in order to make things better here in Wales.”

Mr Drakeford also explained that to “have the powers without the investment simply couldn’t work.” 

Welsh Labour’s Carolyn Thomas told the Senedd that the Westminster government had given a six-month contract to Avanti which had cut the services between Bangor and London.

Mr Drakeford said: “The decision of Avanti West Coast to reduce services between north Wales and London was made without any prior notification to the Welsh government or Transport for Wales.

“The way in which rail services are designed and delivered simply does not meet the needs of the travelling public.

“In the way that we have taken those parts of the railway that are under our control back under public control, we will be able to do that and make a much better job of rail services in Wales.”

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